May 17, 2011

Game 24 - "Hits Meant Runs" for the Sox

May 15, 1911
Philadelphia 2, Chicago 6

From the Washington Herald: “The Sox took the second game of the series from the Athletics, 6 to 2, to-day. Coombs pitched good ball, but the Sox hits came when hits meant runs. McIntyre’s homer in the fifth clinched the game. Olmstead’s triple in the seventh clinched it some more.”

Danny Murphy hit his first homer of the year for Philadelphia, but it wasn’t nearly enough for the Mackites. Born in Philadelphia, Murphy was known as a long-distance hitter, and had six years in the top ten for both home runs and slugging percentage in the American League. After two seasons with the Giants, he debuted with the A's in 1902, going 6-for-6, including a 3-run homer off of Cy Young, which I believe has to be up there with the best first games with a new team ever. He was there to replace Nap Lajoie, who was barred by court order to continue playing for the Athletics, at second base. When Collins joined the team in ’08, Mack shifted Murphy to the outfield. “Though Danny had been my second baseman since my first pennant winner in 1902,” Mack wrote, “he didn't pivot too well on double plays, but Murphy always was a sweet hitter."

Thanks to Murphy’s popularity, this move angered both fans and other players, but Murphy took to the outfield and his offense improved while the addition of Collins boosted the team’s production (not to mention defense) from the second base position. So Murphy replaced one Hall-of-Famer at second base and was later replaced by another one.

In the 1910 World Series, Murphy hit .400 with 9 RBI and the only home run of the series. So far in 1911, he's hitting .365 with four stolen bases (as of May 18th).

[Today's sources:;words=White+Athletic+white+Sox+SOX+WHITE+Athletes+Athletics and]

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